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Air Pollution. Unit-4. Syllabus.

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  • Air Pollution, Composition of Air, Structure of atmosphere, Ambient air quality standards, Classification of air pollutants, Sources of common air pollutants like SPM, SO2, NOX, Natural and anthropogenic Sources, and its effects.

Air pollution1
Air Pollution

  • Definition:- Air pollution is define as

  • “ Excessive concentration of foreign matter in air, which adversely affects the well being of individuals or causes damage to the property”.

Atmosphere and its structure
Atmosphere and its Structure

  • Atmosphere:- The gaseous layer surrounding the earth is known as atmosphere.

  • The atmosphere is the life supporting mantle, surrounding the earth.

  • The atmosphere surrounds the earth up to 700 km, atmosphere is subdivided as

Air pollution

  • Troposphere:- ( 0 To 12 Km) Contains 75 % of the gases in the atmosphere. This is where we live and weather occurs.

  • Stratosphere:- (12 – 50 Km) this layer contains ozone layer. Ozone acts as a shield for the earth’s surface. It absorbs ultraviolet radiations from the sun. This causes temperature increase in the upper part of the layer.

  • Mesosphere:- ( 50 to 80 Km) This is the coldest region of the atmosphere. This layer protects the earth from meteoroid. They burn up in this area.

Air pollution

  • Thermosphere:- ( 80 Km and above) The air is very thin in this region. Thermosphere means “Heat Sphere”. The temperature is very high in this region

  • This layer contains:-

  • (a) Ionosphere:-This is the lower part of the thermosphere. It extends from 80 Km – 550 Km. This layer generally helps in radio communication.

  • (b) Exosphere:- The upper part of the thermosphere. It extends from 550 km and above. Air is very thin here this is the area where satellite orbits the earth.

Structure of atmosphere
Structure of Atmosphere this region. Thermosphere means “Heat Sphere”. The temperature is very high in this region

Ambient air quality standards

* Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India notification,1994

** Particle size less than 10 µm

Ambient air Quality Standards

Major sources of air pollution
Major Sources of Air Pollution notification,1994

  • 1) Natural Sources:- The natural sources of air pollution are volcanic eruptions, releasing of poisonous gases like SO2 ( Sulfur dioxide), Hydrogen sulphide (H2S), Carbon Monoxide(CO), Forest fires, natural organic and inorganic decays, Pollen grains, wind blown dust, among them pollen grain are important because it causes allergic reactions in individuals.

Anthropogenic sources
Anthropogenic sources notification,1994

  • (a) Rapid Industrialization:- The Industries such as pulp and paper, chemical, metallurgical plants, refineries are responsible for air pollution, the most common pollutants are CO2, SO2, CO, NO, H2S etc.

  • (b) Transportation:- Automobile exhausts release smoke. The smoke is a result of incomplete combustion of carbonaceous matter. The common pollutants are CO ( Carbon Monoxide), CO2, and Hydrocarbons.

Air pollution

  • (c) Burning of Fossil fuels and fires:- The conventional sources of energy are wood, coal, and fossil fuels. The byproducts of fossil fuels is nothing but poisonous gases such as CO, CH4 (methane), SO2, and NOX.

  • (d) Deforestation:- The balance of O2 and CO2 is maintained in the nature by the vegetation. The deforestation by man for his own needs has disturbed the balance of CO2 and O2, Concentration.

Air pollution

  • (e) Increase in Population:- an increase in population leads to global warming and emission of green house gases. It also contributes to losses in forest cover and loss of wild life.

  • (f) Agriculture activities:- Various pesticides and insecticides are used for agricultural purposes. Thus they cause air pollution.

  • (g) Radioactive fallout:- Nuclear reaction, nuclear weapon testing contributes towards Nuclear pollution. Nuclear Pollutants are very harmful to man, animals and vegetations.

Classification of air pollutants
Classification of air pollutants to global warming and emission of green house gases. It also contributes to losses in forest cover and loss of wild life.

  • Air pollutants are broadly classified as

  • (a) According to origin

  • (b) According to chemical composition

  • (c) According to State of matter.

According to origin
According to Origin to global warming and emission of green house gases. It also contributes to losses in forest cover and loss of wild life.

  • Air Pollutants can be classified as

  • (a) Primary Pollutants

  • (b) Secondary Pollutants

  • Primary Pollutants:- Primary pollutants are those which are directly emitted from identifiable source

  • These pollutants are emitted directly to the atmosphere.

Air pollution

  • Ex:- to global warming and emission of green house gases. It also contributes to losses in forest cover and loss of wild life.

    (a) Particulate matter

    (b) Oxides of Sulphur

    (c) Oxides of Nitrogen

    (d) Carbon Monoxide

    (e) Radioactive Compounds

Air pollution

According to chemical composition
According to Chemical Composition those which are produced in the air by the reaction of two or more primary pollutants.

  • All the air pollutants are classified as

  • (a) organic pollutants

  • (b) In organic pollutants

  • (a) Organic Pollutants:- Organic Pollutants contain carbon and hydrogen.

  • Ex:-

  • Hydro Carbon

  • Aldehyde and Ketones

  • Alcohols

  • Organic Sulphur compounds

Air pollution

According to state of matter
According to State of Matter those which are produced in the air by the reaction of two or more primary pollutants.

  • Air pollutants according to state of matter are classified as

  • (a) Natural Contaminants

  • (b) Particulate matter

  • (c) Gases and vapours

Natural contaminants
Natural Contaminants those which are produced in the air by the reaction of two or more primary pollutants.

  • The air contaminants which are produced from natural sources are called natural contaminants

  • Eg. Pollen grains are emitted from weeds, grasses and trees

  • This pollen grains are irritating to some individuals

  • Size of pollen grains = 10 to 50 (µ)

Particulate matter
Particulate matter those which are produced in the air by the reaction of two or more primary pollutants.

  • These may be liquid or solid. The particulate matter are identified as aggregates which are larger than 0.002 µ but smaller than 500 µ

  • (a) Dust (1 To 10,000 µ) : Small solid particles resulting from break up of large masses through processes such as crushing, grinding or blasting.

  • (b) Smoke ( 0.5 To 1 µ) Consist of finely divided solid particles produced by incomplete combustion of organic particles such as coal, wood, or tobacco.

Air pollution

  • Mist:- These are liquid particles formed by condensation of vapor

  • Fog (1 to 40 µ ):- High concentration of mist is called as fog. It is dispersion of liquid particles in air.

  • Fumes ( 0.03 to 0.3 µ ):- Fine solid particles formed by the condensation of vapors of solid material. The fumes are generally emit from melting operations.

  • Ash ( 1 to 1000 µ ):- fine, noncombustible particles are known as fly ash.

  • Spray (10 to 1000 µ):- Liquid particles formed by automation

Gases and vapors
Gases And Vapors vapor

  • (a) Carbon Monoxide:- (CO) This is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas formed due to incomplete combustion of carbonaceous matter. The sources of carbon monoxide are motor vehicles, burning of fossil fuel and industrial processes.

  • (b) Oxides of Sulphur:- They Include 4 different gaseous compounds such as Sulfur monoxide ( SO), Sulfur dioxide ( SO2), Sulphur trioxide ( SO3) and sulphur tetra oxide (SO4).

  • Sulphur dioxide is a colorless, non flammable gas with suffocating odor.

Oxides of nitrogen
Oxides of Nitrogen vapor

  • Oxides of Nitrogen Include 4 gaseous compound:- Nitric oxide ( NO), Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), Nitrous Oxide (N) Nitrogen penta oxide (N2O5)

  • In air pollution, Nitric oxide (NO) and Nitrogen dioxide are of prime concern.

    The sources of this pollutants are Industrial Processes, automobile exhausts.

Hydrocarbon vapor

  • Organic compounds containing only carbon and hydrogen are classified as Hydrocarbons.

  • They are of 2 types.

  • (a) Aliphatic hydrocarbon

  • (b) Aromatic hydrocarbon

  • Hydrocarbon present in the atmosphere in the atmosphere from both natural and man made sources.

  • The major sources of hydrocarbon is burning of gasoline and industrial processes.

Effects of some common air pollutants
Effects of some common air pollutants vapor

  • 1) Particulate Matter:-

  • Effects on human:-

  • The pollutants of size less than 1 µ causes lung damage

  • Asbestos fibers causes cancer

  • Lead from automobile exhaust affects brain

  • It causes several respiratory diseases

  • Silica , arsenic, dust causes cancer

Air pollution

  • Effects on plants:- vapor

  • Deposition of particulate matter containing toxic metals affects the growth of plants

  • The particulate matter after deposition on plant leaves block stomata opening of plants and reduce plant growth.

  • The particulate matter with acid rain, reduces pH of the soil which makes the infertile.

Air pollution

  • Effect on Material: vapor

  • The particulate matter causes damage to building

  • The corrosion is enhanced

  • It causes cracks and fading of pointed surface

  • Particulates accumulate on the soil and reduces fertility of soil.

Carbon monoxide
Carbon Monoxide vapor

  • Effects on humans:-

  • The high concentration of CO can cause death

  • The combination of CO and hemoglobin leads to the formation of carboxylhaemoglobin (COHb) reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of blood.

  • At concentration of 100 ppm people experience dizziness and headache.

  • The cigarette smoke contains 400 to 450 ppm CO the percentage of COHb in blood of cigarette smokers increases with increase in smoking.

  • At concentration of 750 ppm of CO it will cause death.

Air pollution

  • Effects on plants:- vapor

  • CO reduces nitrogen fixing capacity of bacteria. Which affects the plant growth.

  • High concentration of causes leaf drops, reduces the size of leaf and ageing

  • Effects on materials:-

  • Carbon monoxide appears to have no detrimental effect on materials.

Oxides of sulphur
Oxides of Sulphur vapor

  • Effects on human health:-

  • It causes irritation of eyes and respiratory tracts.

  • Increase in SO2 concentration in the atmosphere, may lead to lung cancer

  • SO2 may obstruct breathing

  • SO2 leads to the formation of H2 SO4 which is 20 times more irritant than SO2

Air pollution

  • Effects on Plants:- vapor

  • The low concentration for long period may cause discoloration of leaves

  • SO2 affects the growth of plants

  • At high concentration the leaf tissues gets damaged.

  • H2SO4 is extremely toxic to plants and soil fertility.

Air pollution

  • Effects on materials:- vapor

  • The sulphuric acid will attack building materials containing carbonates. This will form CaSO4 the CaSO4 gets easily washed away leaving discolored surface

  • Paper absorb SO2 causing the paper to become brittle

  • Leather looses the strength and flexibility.

Oxides of nitrogen1
Oxides of Nitrogen vapor

  • Effects on Human Health: nitric Oxide reduces the Oxygen carrying capacity of blood.

  • Nitrogen dioxide causes irritation of lungs

  • High level of NOx causes pneumonia, lung cancer, oxygen deficiency.

  • NOx causes irritation of respiratory system, nervous system and digestive tracts.

  • NOx is extremely dangerous to human health.

Air pollution

  • Effects on vegetation:- vapor

  • NO2and primary pollutants can damage plant tissues

  • High concentration of NO Causes Damage to leaves.

  • Secondary Pollutants such as smog, O3 may damage the vegetation

  • Effects on materials:-

  • Nitric acid causes corrosion to metal surface

  • NO2 fades the color of clothes

  • NO2 causes cracking of rubber

Hydrocarbon vapor

  • Effects on human health:-

  • Aromatic hydrocarbon may lead to cancer

  • Inhalation of hydrocarbon causes irritation of respiratory tract.

  • Methane creates narcotic effects on human beings

  • Most of the hydrocarbon are carcinogenic to lungs

Air pollution

  • Effects on Vegetation:- vapor

  • HC affects plant growth

  • Discoloration of leaves

  • Effects on Materials:-

  • It causes discoloration of materials

  • Material becomes less elastic and more brittle.

Notations vapor

  • parts-per-million (ppm) 10–6, parts-per-billion (ppb) 10–9, and parts-per-trillion (ppt) 10–12 level